House hunting can be overwhelming, especially with the wide selection in some areas. After reading this post, I hope that you become more excited and prepared for one of the biggest purchases you will make. This blog stems from an article published by Realtor.com by Michael Dawson, which gives advice on The Art of House Hunting.
First, start by speaking with a Lender to get pre-approved for a loan. The mortgage industry is constantly changing and you need to be prepared for these changes. Even though you are pre-approved for a loan does not mean you are comfortable with the payments. Get the details from your lender first, before starting your search. Knowing what your are comfortable with paying each month will help you focus in on looking at the right homes.
Second, make a list of amenities and divide them into three columns: Must Have, Like to Have, Don’t Want. For example: I need 3 bedrooms, at least 2.5 baths, a large yard, and a finished basement. I would like to have a deck or granite counter tops. I don’t want a Ranch or Cape Cod style home.
Turn this list into a checklist, which you take with you during your house hunting. After seeing many homes, they start to blend together and you may forget what house had which feature. This list will help you keep track along the way. Don’t forget to give each home a rating, 1 through 10, with 10 meaning you are going to write an offer.
Your checklist should not only include interior and exterior features but also location, neighborhood, and area amenities. For Example: the amount of traffic on the street, the neighborhood location, the area has a park or trail, etc.
The same factors you are looking for as you are house hunting, will also be ones future buyers will be looking at too. So if you don’t like the amount of traffic on the street or the fact the house sits next to the rail road track, take that into consideration when purchasing your next or first home.
Here are a few suggestions from industry experts:
- Take a camera with you to capture an image of each house you look at that makes it to the “maybe list.
- Don’t make a hasty decision, especially if you feel yourself becoming guided by emotion. Weigh all the pros and cons of each house you like.
- Review your checklist and notes and compare it against our needs, wants and budget.
- Bring your spouse, friend or family member with you to get a second opinion. They may notice a shortcoming that you’ve overlooked.
- Find out how much utilities and maintenance cost.
- Stay on top of newly listed houses via a Multiple Listing Service on the Internet.
- Remain in close contact with your agent. This is extremely important if you’re in a strong seller’s market and/or in which homes that are priced right and go fast. You want a good agent who will alert you of new listings and who will show you the houses as soon as they’re listed.
- Be prepared to look at the potential of a house rather than what you see in front of you. It is more important that the layout of a house meet your priorities and the number of bedrooms you need fit your needs versus your dislike of the green carpet or lack of landscaping.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. Happy House Hunting!
For more information on this Realtor.com article and/or to view the full article CLICK HERE